Tuesday, April 5, 2011

E is For Entertainment

One of the things about a city, is that there are a lot of things to do in it.

In C J Sansom's Sovereign, book three of the Shardlake series, there is a need for entertainment. After all, the king is coming to Kent. One of the events arranged is bear baiting where a bear is pitted against hounds. While barbaric and cruel of animals, these 'sporting' events are not limited to the dark ages of history as even light hearted shows like Seinfeld have an episode where chicken fighting is the theme and of course, who could forget football superstar spending time in jail for pitbull fighting?

Outside of such animal cruelty though, cities have other various forms of entertainment. The Clone Wars carton series for example, often features the characters going into various bars in order to discover some information of a more seedy nature. Outside of the information exchange, there is often gambling, dancing, and of course, drinking.

In Chicago, not only do we have an enormous amount of bars and eateries, we also have various museums. The players could discover that some of the clues they're looking for are of such age or such rarity, that all available copies are only to be found in some obscure or expensive or exclusive museum.

But what about music? Chicago also has its share of outdoor shows. Such a show, where the center of the city is occupied and people are milling about, drinking, eating, dancing, and having a good time, could easily be the center of a chase scene or an assassination attempt. Imagine the chaos if the threat is perceived by the crowd or imagine the difficulty the characters will have communicating if it is not! The music, masses, and general horde of people will present their own difficulty.

Plays and operas may be another way to showcase various background elements in the campaign. Propping up an old play that showcases how the current king game to power, ala Hamlet, or providing a hiding place for the characters, or even a job source for the characters, can always be entertaining. After all, some would say the the Spider Man musical has certainly had its share of adventure worthy issues.

When designing a city, don't forget the things that make it more than run, don't forget the things that make it fun.